Radioactive Substances Committee 2020

27 February 2020

The annual meeting of OSPAR's Radioactive Substances Committee was held in Paris from 11-13 February.

Review of the RSC Thematic Strategy 2010-2020

RSC finalised the review of the Committee’s progress under the current Radioactive Substances Strategy (RSS) of the OSPAR North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy (NEAES) 2010-2020.

Development of a new Radioactive Substances Strategy 2020-2030

RSC further refined their suggestions for operational objectives under the North-East Atlantic Environmental Strategy for 2020 to 2030, as a result of the hard and intense discussions over the last 2 years towards a common understanding.

ICG work

RSC welcomed the developments from the intersessional working group to produce a method to assess that concentrations above historic levels are close to zero (ICG-CTZ) and agreed to include the proposed qualitative assessment in the next periodic evaluation and to finish the overall methodology by 2021 in the form of an Agreement.

RSC also addressed the work under the intersessional working group on the modelling of additional concentrations of NORM in seawater from discharges of produced water from the offshore oil and gas sector (ICG-MOD) which will develop an agreement for the methodology for the far field assessment by 2021.

The input of both working groups are crucial to assess RSC’s progress against the current strategic objectives in the next periodic evaluation.

BAT and BEP on Radioactive Discharges

RSC concluded the 7th round of reporting on the implementation of the Best Available Technology (BAT) / Best Environmental Practice (BEP) on Radioactive Discharges.

Fifth Periodic Evaluation

RSC agreed to commence work on the Fifth Periodic Evaluation (5PE) of progress against the current Radioactive Substances Strategy. Terms of reference for the Intersessional Correspondence Group responsible for this work were drafted. The 5PE will conduct a robust assessment of progress made in the reduction of radioactive discharges and concentrations in the marine environment and will provide the scientific basis for RSC’s contribution to the Quality Status Report 2023.

Chair and Vice Chair

Justin Gwynn (Norway) and Kins Leonard (united Kingdom) were re-elected as Chair and Vice-Chair for the next two intersessional periods 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.

RSC thanked Kate Ward, Head of the United Kingdom Delegation for RSC, was for her contributions and wished her well in her retirement.